UPDATE: Third teen in custody in Howard Avenue fire

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Updated August 28th, 2017

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – New information following a vacant house fire last month on Howard Avenue. A third teen has been taken into custody charged with arson.

The two other teens were arrested earlier this month after police say the three allegedly set fire to the home in the 500 block of Howard Avenue on July 24th. The vacant home was demolished after becoming fully engulfed. The names of the three teens have not been released due to their age.

Update: August 2, 2017

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- It's a crack in the case of one of several abandoned and vacant fires to hit the Forest City over the last month and a half.

Three teens are being charged with arson for their alleged involvement with a fire at a vacant home in the 500 block of Howard Avenue, according to the Rockford Fire Department. Two of the teens have been arrested, but a third is still at large. Because the suspects are juveniles, their identities are being kept private.

Rockford Fire Department Chief Derek Bergsten says with the work of the State's Attorney's Office, fire investigators and the community were able to get closure with the arson fire.

The fire happened around 3:30 in the afternoon on July 24 and was demolished the same day as officials believed leaving it standing would be a safety hazard.

"I think this demonstrates a couple of things that with citizen involvement it really aids the investigators and them being able to close these cases and get closure to that. We want to make sure that people understand that there are serious ramifications with potential harm to fire fighters and citizens when they are lighting fires especially in vacant homes or any homes," says Chief Derek Bergsten.

Chief Bergsten says they are investigating yesterday's fire on 15th Avenue as well as Monday's 6th Street and Buckbee Street Fires as suspicious. Chief Bergsten says this is a separate incident not involved or linked to any other fires.


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Crews say an afternoon fire at a vacant home appears to be suspicious.

The fire happened around 3:30 Monday afternoon in the 500 block of Howard Avenue. Crews are calling the fire a total loss and say it will be demolished by a contracting company.

The cause is still under investigation. No one was hurt in the fire.